A critical review on recycling of end-of-life carbon fibre/glass fibre reinforced composites waste using pyrolysis towards a circular economy

S.R. Naqvi* (Corresponding Author), H. Mysore Prabhakara, E.A. Bramer, W. Dierkes, R. Akkerman, G. Brem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
361 Downloads (Pure)


The rapid utilization of carbon fibre reinforced composite (CFRC) and glass fibre reinforced composite (GFRC) in main sectors, such as automobile, aerospace, wind turbines, boats and sport parts, has gained much attention because of its high strength, light weight and impressive mechanical properties. Currently, the increasing amount and handling of composite waste at their end-of-life (EoL) has a negative impact on resources conservation and the environment. Pyrolysis, a two-step process, appeared as most viable process to recover not only valuable materials but also produce fuel and chemicals. However, the testing facilities and optimized operation of composite waste in pyrolysis processes to produce materials with low energy consumption and acceptable mechanical properties are still under development and discussion before commercialization. The aim of this article is to review the studies on CFRC/GFRC recycling via pyrolysis processes and highlight their technical challenges and re-use possibilities in high performance composites. The forthcoming commercialization challenges and respective market potential to recyclates using the pyrolysis process will be addressed. This study will also introduce the strong connection between recycling and re-usability of fibres which would help to explain the concept of circular economy and cradle-to-cradle approach. Finally, based on updated studies and critical analysis, research gaps in the recycling treatments of fibrous composite waste using pyrolysis processes are discussed with recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-129
Number of pages12
JournalResources, conservation and recycling
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018



  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Circular economy
  • End-of-life
  • Glass fibre
  • Pyrolysis
  • Reinforced composite
  • Carbon fibre

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